University of Southern Indiana Softball begins its 2019 Great Lakes Valley Conference schedule Saturday at noon when it hosts McKendree University in its home-opener at the USI Softball Field. The Screaming Eagles also host the University of Illinois Springfield Sunday at noon in a rematch of last year’s NCAA II Midwest Super Regional.
The Screaming Eagles (12-10, 0-0 GLVC) have won five of their last eight games, while McKendree (13-11, 0-0 GLVC), an NCAA II Tournament team from last year, also is 5-3 in its last eight games. Illinois Springfield (11-9, 0-0 GLVC), which visits Union University Thursday before opening GLVC play Saturday at Bellarmine University, has won five of its last eight games as well.
All four games this weekend will be aired on 95.7 The Spin as well as the GLVC Sports Network, while live stats, audio and video can be accessed at GoUSIEagles.com.
USI Softball Notes
• Eagles 6-6 at Spring Games. USI went 6-6 at The Spring Games, including 3-3 in regional games. Senior second baseman Claire Johnson paced the Eagles at the plate with a .421 batting average, while sophomore outfielder Alicia Webb hit .387. Junior pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt was 4-2 in the circle with a 1.75 ERA and a .183 opponent batting average.
• Last week. After going 1-3 to start The Spring Games, the Eagles finished the eight-day trip with a 5-3 record last week. Johnson led USI with a .538 batting average (14-26), three doubles, three triples, a home run, eight RBIs and eight runs scored. Senior catcher Lindsey Barr hit .435 (10-23) with two doubles, a triple, three home runs and a team-best 10 RBIs, while Leonhardt went 3-1 with a 1.35 ERA, .177 opponent batting average and 38 strikeouts.
• Johnson named GLVC Player of Week. Johnson was named the GLVC Player of the Week for her efforts last week. In addition to her .538 batting average, Johnson had a .613 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage. She drew five walks and struck out just two times.
• Johnson breaks record for career walks. Senior second baseman Claire Johnson set the program’s all-time record for career walks when she drew her 83rd career base on balls in USI’s win over Saint Anselm. She passed former All-American and current Assistant Coach MacKenzi Dorsam, who drew 82 free passes during her career at USI.
• Leonhardt ends Spring Games with shutdown performance. Leonhardt finished The Spring Games on a strong note. After earning a 2-1 win over No. 12 Saint Anselm, Leonhardt tossed back-to-back one-hit shutouts in USI’s wins over Findlay and Dominican (New York). Including a scoreless 1-2-3 inning in USI’s 4-3 loss to California-Pennsylvania on Saturday, Leonhardt struck out 29 of the 49 batters she faced. She tossed pitches to just four batters over the minimum in the process and did not issue a walk in the 15 innings of work. She had a no-hitter with two outs in the seventh inning of USI’s 5-0 win over Findlay before surrendering her first hit; then took a perfect game into the sixth inning of USI’s 6-0 win over Dominican before a lead-off single ended the no-hit bid.